Thursday, May 31, 2012

Live Letters To Host Intimate Concert Series

Live Letters, the new music photography blog helmed by shutterbug Sara Montour, recently announced its Evening With Friends concert series.

Per the site’s Facebook invitation, Evening With Friends are “small, intimate concerts designed to bring a unique live music experience to the Twin Cities. Each Evening With Friends will be hosted by a musician or band that will then hand-select other songwriters to join them for the evening. All musicians will start the night on stage together, taking turns playing songs, and the evening will end with an acoustic set from the host band.”

The first show will be hosted Gabriel Douglas, best known as the bearded frontman of the 4onthefloor, and will take place at a private loft in Minneapolis on Thursday, June 14 at 7 PM. Surprise guests, guaranteed to be incredible, will also be on the bill.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased via Brown Paper Tickets. Because of the intimate aim of these concerts, space will be limited.

Tune into "Live From Studio 5!" every Wednesday from 10 PM to Midnight on KFAI radio for more on local show happenings!

- Erica Rivera

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On Deck: Me And My Arrow

Me and My Arrow is one of the most ingenious acts to emerge on the Minneapolis music scene. Fronted by Jacob Grun (owner of The Sound Gallery), with a multitude of members onstage at any given time--and a slew of instruments in tow--Me and My Arrow are like the Minnesotan version of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. The group’s hippy-ish vibe and avant-garde tunes will alternately mellow you out and rock your world.

Per the band's bio: "Like a tidal wave of sound Me and My Arrow's musical performances soak through every pore of the human body. The blend of strings, pianos, synths, guitars and urban clanging make for an orchestral sound that is larger than large. The pieces fit together in unique ways, coming together to create a new sonic palette the likes of which haven't been heard since the invention of the sonic boom. When the band comes together to vocalize either in harmony or unison one cannot do anything but feel. With every show the band gets better."

Tune in to KFAI (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, 106.7 in St. Paul, or stream online) tonight from 10 PM to Midnight to hear Me and My Arrow's live in-studio performance. The band will be debuting a new single on-air!

- Erica Rivera

Friday, May 25, 2012

Earworm Of The Week: Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple hardly needs an introduction, though the feisty siren with a knack for stellar songwriting has been mostly silent since her last release, 2005's Extraordinary Machine. Following her appearance at this year's SXSW, Apple incorporated this incredible tune that documents the creative struggle into her live show. Her new album, The Idler Wheel... drops on June 19 and her nationwide tour kicks off that same day. Apple will dazzle her Twin Cities fans on July 16 at the Orpheum Theater.

Tune into "Live From Studio 5!" every Wednesday from 10 PM to Midnight on KFAI radio for more great songs from local and national acts.

- Erica Rivera

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

On Deck: Saltee

Featuring Jacqueline Ultan (cello), Mike Michel (guitars), and Carnage (voice/beatboxing), Saltee is an Indie, urban, organic, neo-classical trio steam driven by Afro-Cuban beats made by the body and human voice. The ultimate soundtrack experience, Saltee combines memorable global melodies with unearthly acoustic and electronic sounds.

Saltee will be our in-studio guests on Wednesday, May 16. Tune into "Live From Studio 5!" from 10 PM to Midnight on KFAI radio (90.3 FM in Minneapolis, 106.7 in St. Paul, or stream online) to hear this unique threesome perform!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Earworm Of The Week: Dylan Hicks

Dylan Hicks boasts a pair of creative talents that few in the Twin Cities have before: musician and author.

Hicks has three albums under his belt and a recently released novel, Boarded Windows. Hicks is a Minnesota Music Award winner and was included in Da Capo’s Best Music Writing anthology in 2007. His short fiction has appeared in Swink, Dislocate, the Rake, Hobart, and Pindeldyboz, and his essays have appeared in the Village Voice, the New York Times, Spin, City Pages, the Star Tribune, and Rain Taxi. Hicks is also a contributor at Hicks has read at events for Paper Darts, at Open Book, the U of MN bookstore, and Bryant Lake Bowl.

This video for his tune “West Texas Winds” was filmed, in all places, in a K-mart parking lot in Minnesota.

Tune into "Live From Studio 5!" every Wednesday from 10 PM to Midnight on KFAI radio for more local gems.

- Erica Rivera

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Local Photogs Launch "Live Letters" Site

Shutterbugs Sara Montour and Jenn Barnett announced the launch of Live Letters, an online portfolio of their concert photography, today.

"LIVE LETTERS is here to document the amazing live music that’s happening in this lovely city, and occasionally elsewhere. As a photographer the art of creating compelling images is as important to me as solely documenting the show, so I’m more than excited to be able to showcase some incredible photographers, videographers, and audio magicians from all around, including the wonderful Jenn Barnett who has jumped on board with full force and is going to be an incredible part of this entire LIVE LETTERS project," Montour says on the home page of the site.

BNLX at Amsterdam Bar & Hall by Jenn Barnett

A calendar of upcoming shows is also featured on the site and it is packed with must-see musicians, in multiple music venues throughout the Twin Cities.  Aural and eye candy?!  Here we come!

Tune into "Live From Studio 5!" every Wednesday from 10 PM to Midnight on KFAI radio for more happenings on the local scene!

- Erica Rivera

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

On Deck: The Further Adjustments

The Further Adjustments live and jam in Minneapolis, and have been a unique part of the vibrant Minneapolis music scene for almost three years now. The band draws from an eclectic assortment of musical influences: from classic roots-rock a la Neil Young and the Band to the cosmic country of Gram Parsons, to more modern rock influences like Jack White, My Morning Jacket and the Alabama Shakes.

Founding members Reilly Partridge (guitar/vox) and Josh Wiederin (drums) hail from neighboring small towns in Iowa. After their respective, heavier-geared high-school groups (Misabel and Bleached Black) split, with members heading to college, Partridge and Wiederin decided that they weren’t ready to stop making music. They began experimenting in with different sounds in Josh’s garage.

“Playing in those heavier bands showed us how fun creating playing live music was, but we’re getting into some different stuff,” says Partridge, “We’re getting really into stuff from the 60s like Bob Dylan, the Doors, Jefferson Airplane and CSNY which of course opened some musical doors we hadn’t even considered yet.”

Meanwhile, in an equally small town just on the Minnesota side of Fargo, guitarists Zach Olson and Alec Albright were experiencing a similar musical upbringing. Olson and Albright were a part of their own angst-y high-school group Without A Doubt. But, thanks to Albright’s father’s extensive collection of vintage vinyl, the boys were being introduced to everything from Neil Young to Jerry Jeff Walker to Atlanta Rhythm Section.

Fate would bring them all together in Minneapolis, in the fall of 2009. In a small pink shack in a back alley by the train tracks in Dinkytown, the Further Adjustments as we know them today took form.

Fast-forward to 2012. After a few solid years of finding their sound, gigging around the Twin-Cites and Mid-West region, the Further Adjustments have released their first full-length album Foxfire.

The album was recorded with Partridge’s father, Todd, as sound engineer at his “old school studio”, which is quite literally located in a converted high-school in small-town Auburn, Iowa (drum tracks were recorded in the old gymnasium).

“It’s been great growing up with the studio” says Reilly. “As I was growing musically, dad was growing as an engineer. I think this album his best recording work yet, as well as our best musically as a band.” The songs on the album reflect the Further Adjustments coming into their own; both as people and musicians. Foxfire has already garnered praise both here in Minneapolis and elsewhere.

Jon Schober, local music writer, says of Foxfire, “The arrangements are strangely mature, especially for a band that hasn’t really received as much exposure compared to similar counterparts and veterans of Minnesota music. If these songs are any indication though, The Further Adjustments are about to gain a much larger audience.”

Abbey Simmons of the Seattle music blog Sound on the Sound comments, “Partridge sings of 'broke-hearted people going all the way down' like he’s wallowed in the gloomiest depths and of 'long nights and short bright days' like a road-weary traveler.”

The Further Adjustments plan to continue their musical pursuits, building on the success of Foxfire. Partridge reflects: “We were really happy with the recording. We feel like the album was the culmination of several years of playing together; like we finally made sense of all that. But at the same time, we hope to continue to grow and mature as a group.”

Listen in to “Live From Studio 5!” tonight on 90.3 FM in Minneapolis, 106.7 in St. Paul, or stream online at from 10 PM to Midnight to hear The Further Adjustments’ in-studio performance.